RCS District Office
P.O. Box 100
15 Mountain Road
Ravena, NY 12143
(518) 756-5200
Robert K. Libby,

orange bar bullet APPR FAQ

Q: What is APPR?
A: Just like students, teachers and principals across New York state will now be given a number grade at the end of every year that represents their effectiveness rating. The new Annual Professional Performance Review, or APPR, is a state-governed process that determines the standards for these ratings and the process for assessing teachers’ and leaders’ effectiveness.


Q: Is this the first time teachers and principals have been evaluated?
A: Teachers and principals have always been evaluated and held to standards, but under the new APPR, district evaluation plans must adhere to more rigid rules set by the state. An APPR plan was already in place at Capital Region BOCES. The new APPR plan for 2012-13 simply modifies the existing plan to comply with new SED regulations implemented through an amendment to New York state education law. Under the new regulations, plans must be submitted to and approved by the New York State Education Department (SED) and, for the first time ever, a portion of teacher evaluation is directly tied to student performance on state exams or other state-approved learning measures.


Q: What is the goal of the new APPR?
A: The new evaluation system is one component of the larger federal Race to the Top education reform initiative that aims to improve the quality of instruction in our schools and, in turn, improve student performance and college and career readiness. The legislated changes to the APPR requirements aim to provide standardized, objective evaluation results, which can be used to better focus professional development for teachers and principals.


Q: How will teachers be evaluated?
A: The details of the evaluation process will be determined locally by districts, but all K-12 teachers in the state will be evaluated in three areas: classroom observations and evidence, student growth and student achievement.


For teachers at RCS, the observation component, which evaluates classroom practices, will consist of two observations, one formal announced observation and one unannounced observation. The unannounced observation will allow administrators and teachers to gather a greater breadth of evidence that reflects the teacher’s role in the quality of school programs.


The student growth component evaluates student progress toward learning targets and is measured in one of two ways. Some teachers will receive a state-provided growth score from SED, a numerical score comparing student progress on state assessments year-to-year as compared to similar students throughout the state. For teachers in grades or disciplines without state assessments, the growth score will be determined by student progress toward Student Learning Objective (SLO) targets set at the beginning of the school year. In these cases, growth will be evaluated through baseline performance data, benchmarks to assess progress, and end-of-year growth targets for each student.


The student achievement component measures individual student achievement on state-approved, locally-selected evaluations.


Teachers will receive a score in each evaluation area and a cumulative score, broken down as follows:


        Observations and evidence:       60 possible points
        Student growth:                        20-25 possible points
        Student achievement:          
15-20 possible points
        Total score:                              100 possible points



Once these scores are compiled at the end of the school year, the cumulative score will be converted into a final effectiveness rating: Highly effective, effective, developing or ineffective (HEDI).

Q: How will effectiveness ratings be determined based on these scores?
A: According to SED guidelines, every K-12 teacher and principal in the state will receive a HEDI rating, calculated based on a 100-point possible overall score. The conversion for these ratings is established by SED and correlates to the overall numerical score received as follows:


100-91: Highly Effective
90-75: Effective
74-65: Developing
0-64: Ineffective


Q: Will APPR scores be made public?
A: State leaders have agreed that teacher ratings will be released to the parents of students in each teacher’s classroom, and to each principal’s school. It has not been determined how or when such ratings will be released.

Q: What if a teacher receives a rating of developing or ineffective?
A: Any teacher rated as developing or ineffective will receive a negotiated Teacher Improvement Plan (TIP) within 10 days of the opening of classes the following school year. A TIP includes identification of needed areas of improvement, a timeline for achieving improvement, the manner in which the improvement will be assessed, and, where appropriate, activities to support a teacher's improvement in those areas. APPR aims to better target staff development, and the district will work closely with teachers and school leaders the evaluations are used as a tool for staff growth and improvement. 

A negotiated appeals process is also in place for tenured teachers evaluated as developing or ineffective.

Q: How was the new RCS APPR plan developed?
A: The 2012-13 RCS APPR plan was developed through negotiations with administrative leadership and union representatives. All demonstrated great professionalism and respect in determining how to best meet the new state mandated compliance requirements with minimal impact to the high-quality instruction and services our staff provides.

Q: How long will the plan be in place?
A: The 2012-13 APPR plan was accepted by SED on August 28, 2012 and will remain in place through the October 2013. Following the 2012-13 school year, the existing plan will be scrutinized, renegotiated, and modified as needed for 2013-14.